Hong Kong Startup Series: 8 Securities – World’s first App based online investing portal
8 Securities is the world’s first fully personalized and social online investing service. Launching this month in Hong Kong, 8 Securities merges a social investor community with global trading. 8 Securities closed $8 million USD round of funding in June through private investors. The startup was a finalist company at TechCrunch Disrupt Beijing (November 2011) and was one of the “Top 5 Startups in Asia” by Amazon Web Services (November 2011). They won the Battle of the Apps in Hong Kong in December 2011.
8 Securities has an API allowing developers to build on top of the platform. The service will be deployed in the cloud and will be an open platform allowing customers to import their own Applications (i.e. Facebook, Yahoo Finance, etc) or take 8 Securities Apps and feeds with them to other destinations.
Some of the Product Highlights of 8 Securities:
• Personalize your very own Trading Portal. Choose your own Apps from the App Market
• Trading and social community. All in one place
• Global account. Hong Kong & US markets first (intend to add more global markets in future)
• Multi-currency. People can trade in RMB, HKD and USD from one account
• Multi-lingual: Traditional & Simplified Chinese and English
• PC and Mobile (iPhone, iPad and Android)
Mikaal Abdulla, Cofounder and CEO explains how the idea came about: “We saw a great trend towards social and felt that personal financial services have been very slow to adapt. Most online brokerages are handicapped by very old technology and we wanted to launch with new technology to disrupt a very traditional industry. 100% of our efforts are put into building an amazing user experience while our competitors are burdened by inflexible technology and bureaucracy.”
After they launch in Hong Kong they plan to launch in India and the Middle East. The trading platform being fully multi-market, multi-currency, multi-product and multi-lingual, it will be easy for them to launch in new geographies.
On reasons behind the decision to launch in Hong Kong, Mikaal says: “First, the competitions are very traditional in Hong Kong. In the past 10 years there has been virtually no online innovation as traditional brokers and banks continue to distribute through branches. We are bringing something very new to Asia with a Web 2.0 trading portal. We give customers total control to personalize their own trading portal through our App Market while our competitors maintain static products. We also believe in simplicity and beautiful design while our competitors continue to be very complex.
Second, in Hong Kong all investing ideas come from the top (from investment banks and institutions) but we believe individual investors have great ideas. We built our investing portal with social in mind. We give customers the ability to interact with each other, share ideas and ask questions. Customers can track in real-time the communities most active buys & sells, trending topics and sentiment. This is valuable because it is real and validated information unlike bulletin boards where there is no trust. We believe that transparency and access to other smart investors is more powerful that the existing one way advisory model through a traditional broker.
Finally, the market is very large. In Hong Kong there are over 1 million online investing accounts and over 30 million in China. Hong Kong is now the 6th largest stock exchange in the world and we see a trend of continued China IPOs in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has the highest social media penetration rate in Asia and also one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world. It is a very advanced market. We have built a completely seamless web and mobile experience for our customers.”
To find out more about this Hong Kong based startup and sign up for their launch click here.